“Accomplished and compelling songs and arrangements…has a cohesive sense of identity, with melodies and arrangements that belong to each other. For all their modern touches, these songs have vintage virtues” -Pop Matters
“The vocals recall…TV on the Radio, as they swirl around each other, pushing higher and higher…” -Spin from Spin.com’s Band of the Day, January 29 2008
“Every once in a long while you hear an artist that stimulates forward thought, that reaches beyond the varying degrees of their predecessors and turns elusive into
evolution. This music is nothing short of revolutionary. -Jersey Beat
â€œWonderful, brilliant popâ€¦I would keep going with adjectives to describe this, but Iâ€™d be
wasting my time because there are too damn many.â€ -WIUX
“With such a solid album, the stars may indeed be aligning for these brothers.” -Illinois Entertainer
“It’s anthemic and layered, not a shallow end in this pool.” -The Gothamist
” Brothers Ryan and Hays Holladay, songwriting partners since elementary school, cover a lot of ground. Rhythmically complex, harmonious and layered.” -KEXP
Bluebrain is the new project from brothers Hays Holladay & Ryan Holladay. While preparing to release their debut LP, Soft Power, they’ve been busy with other projects you’ve likely already come across. As producers, they’ve worked with various artists, remixing tracks from Ra Ra Riot and The Death Set. They’ve also performed live as past projects (most recently The Epochs) with Spank Rock, Lady Sovereign, The Walkmen, and The Violet Femmes.
As The Epochs, the brothers were based in Brooklyn, garnering much attention locally and nationally for their unique sound and their rollicking live show. Now as a duo, they’ve returned to their hometown of Washington DC, turning the production spotlight on themselves once again to create Bluebrain’s debut LP, Soft Power.
Bluebrain’s sound is a slight departure from The Epochs’ electronic-tinged rock. On Soft Power we see Hays and Ryan venture further into experimental realms, pushing the limits of pop music by way of manipulation and reimagination. The album is sprawling–intent on not staying in one place musically for very long. From the seething string arrangements found on “Caught Up In The Laughter” to the pummeling rhythm of “Ten by Ten”, Bluebrain gracefully moves in and out of musical styles with a confidence few artists convey. Lyrical content varies from the fantastical to the macabre. Songs about obsessive behaviors, lucid dreaming, and yes–even organ harvesting– go hand in hand with the unique sonics found on the record.
The first single from Soft Power is “Ten By Ten”. It is available now for purchase on iTunes along with additional tracks “Caught Up In The Laughter” from Soft Power, and b-side, “Bring Out Your Dead”.
Listen | Post | Share “Ten By Ten” from Soft Power on Lujo Records: